Intel has issued a pseudo-apology for the debacle. Here’s what they said — and here’s what it sure as heck looks like they were really saying.
We take feedback from customers seriously.
Translation: We hate losing money.
For the time being, Intel has decided not to continue with our current ad campaign on the gaming site Gamasutra.
Translation: We hate losing money, and we have decided that misogynist dudebros spend more money on our products than the people who are fighting misogyny. This week, anyway. We are incredibly short-sighted, and have no clue about how public opinion on this issue is shifting, or how bad the word “Intel” is going to taste in people’s mouths a year from now, or two years, or five.
However, we recognize that our action inadvertently created a perception that we are somehow taking sides in an increasingly bitter debate in the gaming community. That was not our intent, and that is not the case.
Translation: We put our foot into something we had no clue about and didn’t do our homework about. Now that we’ve done it, though, we’re not willing to undo it, since we don’t want to anger the misogynist dudebros. (We have also never heard the phrase “intention is not magic,” and we think that not meaning to take sides with misogynist dudebros magically absolves of of responsibility for the fact that we did exactly that.) We don’t understand that it is literally impossible to not take sides in this debate. We don’t understand that refusing to act is supporting the status quo.
Alternate translation: We made a calculated decision to prioritize misogynist dudebros over the women who are harmed by them and their allies. That was totally our intent. We just hoped that nobody would notice. We completely understand that it is literally impossible to not take sides in this debate — we’re just trying to take those sides quietly, and without pissing anybody off. We completely understand that refusing to act is supporting the status quo. The status quo has been working pretty well for us, and we’re okay with it. We just don’t want to take responsibility for that choice.
When it comes to our support of equality and women, we want to be very clear: Intel believes men and women should be treated the same.
Translation: We think men and women should be treated the same — we’re just not willing to actually put any hard work into making that happen. Also, we think “treating men and women the same” somehow equals “listening to misogynist dudebros more than we listen to the women who are harmed by them.”
And, diversity is an integral part of our corporate strategy and vision with commitments to improve the diversity of our workforce.
Translation: We want our workforce to be diverse — we’re just not willing to actually put any hard work into making that happen. We have no clue about the factors that perpetuate sexism and misogyny in the tech world. Or else we do have a clue about it, and we aren’t willing to do anything about it — at least, nothing that might alienate some of our customers. It never occurred to us that women in the tech field might hear about this debacle and decide that they never, ever want to work for Intel. Or else that did occur to us, and we’re okay with it.
And while we respect the right of individuals to have their personal beliefs and values, Intel does not support any organization or movement that discriminates against women.
Translation: Intel totally supports organizations and movements that discriminate against women. We support organizations and movements that passionately hate women. We support organizations and movements that target women with hatred, harassment, abuse, threats, and worse, on a daily basis. We just don’t like thinking of ourselves that way, and we don’t want anyone to think about us that way. We think that just by saying, “We support diversity and oppose discrimination,” that will somehow magically make it true.
We apologize and we are deeply sorry if we offended anyone.
Translation: We don’t actually understand what the word “apology” means. In particular, we don’t understand that the word “if” renders it useless. We clearly did offend people, but we are unwilling to say so — even in the public statement specifically addressing those people. We don’t like the fact that people are angry at us — but we’re not willing to actually do anything about it.